LOVING JESUS, LOVING OUR CITY | YORK PLACE | PERTH | PH2 8EH

Jesus chose the inconspicuous path

For He grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah 53:2,3

It is impossible to scroll through your daily newsfeed or social media and to not be overwhelmed with stories and videos of people making the best of our current circumstances. Most are humorous and witty, utilizing social media apps like TikTok to entertain us as people cope with the boredom of living indoors. Others are heartfelt and touching as people share personal moments on public platforms. We witness as others share birthdays, anniversaries, and newborn babies. The projection of such events on social media helps take a bit of the emotional sting away as such moments were never meant to be celebrated in isolation. People are coming to terms with the thought of drastically changing or foregoing much anticipated events such as holidays, weddings, and graduations. For many, these events had been marked on the calendar for months, if not years. And with each passing week, as the reality of a global lockdown settled in, people have accepted that whatever event they were waiting for, was not just going to go as they had expected. Sure, we can play up a mock engagement in front of a paper eiffel tower for a viral video, but at the end of the day, this isn’t what we had expected or hoped for.

Personally, our family has not had to cope with altering such dramatic and anticipated personal life moments. However, I have felt the growing distress of the idea of celebrating Easter at home. I recognize within myself a low-grade depression as I come to terms with the idea that truly we will all spend the high point of our Christian calendar separated from one another. In reflection, I realize I have been a Christian for the last twenty years of my life. And every year I look forward to Easter. It is the pinnacle of our calendar. It is the one day in the year that Christians all across the globe get to gather and celebrate with great exuberance the resurrection of our Lord. At its best, it is the party of all parties. There is singing, bright clothes and colourful outfits, food – lots and lots of food, and laughter, as Christians rejoice in the empty tomb and a reigning King who has conquered death. And as that day gets closer, I realise that none of that will take place. And so I sit. And mope. And say, “this isn’t how it is supposed to be.” Jesus deserves so much more than this. He is the King of all creation, and deserves more than a low key party with me and my family in our pajamas in our living room. Once again, this isn’t how a King deserves to be celebrated.

And yet, while still in my despondency, I remember that Jesus chose the inconspicuous path. He was the King who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. With no pomp, and no trumpet. He was the Saviour who stood trial at nighttime, deserted by his friends and disciples. He was the innocent Messiah who was rejected in favour of a known criminal. He was the Lord of all Creation, who hung between heaven and earth, with no crowd and no followers. Isaiah had prophesied about this uncelebrated saviour.

For He grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah 53:2,3

And I realise that this Easter might look a lot more like the first Easter than ever before. On that first Sunday, Jesus rose in obscurity. He could have risen on a jumbotron or a Facebook live event for all the world to see. Rather, He rose in the quiet of the morning when no one was there to celebrate. Later that morning, only a few women disciples went to the tomb, while the others were hidden at home. Even after the announcement of His resurrection, the disciples were scared and didn’t know what to do. There was no big party. No inflatable balloons and no buffet lunches. There were no mega churches with choir concerts rivaling pop star arena tours. Rather, there were devoted followers, sitting at home, praying. And contemplating that this risen Saviour really could change everything.

Reflections for this week:

  • As we prepare for Good Friday and Easter, and you feel the sense of loss of what could have been, take such feelings to the cross, where the upside down wisdom of God is made known.
  • Take time to consider the first Easter. The angels were singing and yet the earth stood mostly quiet. Pray about what it means to worship in quiet rather than in great noise.
  • Read Matthew 26, 27 & 28 and consider all that Jesus went through and how none of this was the way a King should have been treated, and yet, it was exactly the way that God designed.

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